Dischem was founded in 1978, when recently graduated pharmacists, Ivan and Lynette Saltzman, had the idea of introducing a retail discount pharmacy to South African customers. The first store was opened in Mondeor, Johannesburg, and in 1984, they opened a second outlet in Randridge Mall. Soon after this, in 1989, they began to stock products other than the normal pharmaceuticals, which quickly led to a third store being opened. The company continued to expand throughout the 1990s, and by 1997, they had their own private label – a range of non-pharmaceutical products sold under the Dischem name. The first store outside Gauteng, was opened in Cape Town in 2004, and after this, numerous stores were established across South Africa. Today, they have more than 100 stores all over the country in cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Richards Bay, Claremont, Welkom and Stellenbosch.
By 2006, Dischem was a successful and established organization, and decided to give back to the community. They introduced the Dischem Foundation, a division that supports numerous charities across South Africa. Through this foundation, they are providing support to those who need it most: babies and young children, the elderly, abused, and homeless individuals. They also feed 10 000 people a month through their Dischem Food Garden, and deliver fresh produce to various organizations in Gauteng, on a weekly basis. The garden also provides young individuals with employment.
Their online shopping platform was launched in 2013, which made it convenient for customers to shop for healthcare products and medicine. Dischem stores soon became a favourite among South African customers, and in 2014, they were voted ‘Best Pharmacy Brand’ by Readers Digest South Africa. They continue to grow, and by 2018, Dischem celebrated 40 years of existence.
Dischem falls under the Health & Beauty category along with other stores such as Clicks, Avon and Justine. Their trading hours depend on the shopping centre in which they are located, but most stores are open from 9h00 to 17h00 (Monday to Friday), 9h00 to 16h00 (Saturdays), and 9h00 to 13h00 (Sunday).
For more information, or to view the Dischem catalogue, visit their website dischem.co.za.